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Estie Rand of Strand Consulting has been helping businesses improve on minimal budgets for over 13 years.
After spending many years finding fulfillment in the non-profit industry, Estie founded Strand Consulting to bring her skills of doing more with less to small business owners.
Estie now enjoys every minute of her work helping others reach their earning potential, maximizing themselves, their time and of course, their profits.
In this podcast episode, Estie talks about the three things that make up a successful business. We also discuss how to begin building your business network.Everyone today should be running their own business in some way - even if it’s just part-time. - Estie Rand Click To Tweet
In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:
- Estie shares why she believes everyone should be running their own business to some degree.
- She talks about how to build those first business contacts to grow your business.
- She also discusses the three things every successful business needs.
Estie’s Favorite Online App:
(Some of the links listed below are affiliate links, and I will receive compensation for you signing up for service using my links.)
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Welcome to the show Estie. Thank you. I’m so excited to be here. I’m so excited to have you on tell me about yourself outside of your business. I am a mom of five.
That’s pretty much my other full time job.
And when did you know that you are an entrepreneur. And
I didn’t even know what it was called. I actually started my first profitable business when I was 10. So I guess that’s when I became an entrepreneur. I think I only figured it out a couple years into my company, though. So it took a long time for my brain to catch up with my body’s activities will tell us about your current business and how you started it.
Sure. So my current business is, as one of my friends recently called it, it’s like a small business McKinsey. It’s a full service consulting firm for small businesses and nonprofits. So we work with the little guy, the solo printer, the freelancer, the micro business owner, so like, you know, 510, 20 employees, and we do everything that a fortune 500 company with get from a big consulting firm like McKinsey Boston, we do strategy and implementation. So what that means is we help business owners figure out what they should do, whether it’s marketing or staffing, or in terms of how they set up their schedule, or price their goods or financial analysis or a business plan, all those kinds of things. And then I actually have a team of people who can make it happen. That was my dream, because the little guy, they often have this menagerie of freelancers that they have to manage, don’t always know how, and the people don’t always agree or get along. And so we have our own people. Plus, we work with all different independent contractors. And very often a business owner will come with certain pieces of their own team, they have a designer, they already like a numbers guy they already like, and so we’ll just bring that person in and kind of supplement the missing pieces. I love that what’s been your greatest challenge so far as a business owner, greatest challenge has been people running with my work in the other direction that I recommend meaning because we’re, you know, at the core, a strategic advice company, you know, it’s a business consultancy. So when people come to me, and they say, you know, what do you think we should do, right, or here’s the problem solve it. Yeah. And, and so, we, we give a recommendation, sometimes we’ll even do an implementation, you know, we’ll build a marketing campaign will set up a database, and then the businesses owners be like, Okay, this is good, but I want you to change it completely. And, and then, you know, we, it’s a discussion, you know, or sometimes they’ll will do a part one of a contract, this happened recently, we did a part one of a contract, and at the end visitors like, okay, but this didn’t generate the results I wanted, we’re like, right, because this was part one, and we set our roadmap, Part one is going to generate, you know, a quarter of the results. Part two is going to be, you know, another 50% is going to be the second half of the stages here, right? patients, and, you know, like, we’re getting there, grasshopper, that’s the line patience, grasshopper.
And, and he stopped in the middle, even though it was a three stage plan. And then he was just unhappy. But it was never a one stage plan that’s been my biggest struggle is, is when we build out a whole thing. Or we give a recommendation, I had someone recently who was in an evening where, and her audience just really didn’t want to buy what she was selling the exact the pricing match location, there’s a bunch of different pieces that they weren’t working. And we strongly advise going into custom, we saw that the market was very ripe for custom work, and she didn’t want to, and I can’t fix that. So that’s been my biggest struggle.
So aside from not wanting to work for someone else, and aside from your family, what’s your why I think that everybody today should be running their own business at some level. That’s my why I think that we used to live in a society where work was something very personal, it came from a deep drive a place to bring out our hidden talents are potential, our our why, right, everyone’s got their why and serve the world with it, you had your corner Baker, and you had your Shoemaker, and you had your local life coach, whether they got paid for it or not. But everybody has their thing. And then we moved to this kind of, you know, corporate version of work like this nine to five, you sit in your box, and you serve the man. And now we’re returning. And I love it to this personal state of work in a totally different way, in this global marketplace. And so my why is that every person that has a dream that has a talent that has something they want to bring to the world should earn money from it, good money, and if they have it in them, even if it’s just part time, Uber drivers are business owners, Etsy sellers, or business owners. So whether it’s a side income, and it’s your security in case something happens with your job, whether it’s the beginning of a passion, whether you’ve gone all in my passion is to make that successful. Because I think everybody should spend their day doing what they love and making their living from it.
I love it. Love that so much. What advice do you have for someone that’s just getting started in business?
Oh, my gosh, so much is what I do all day. Okay, let’s distill it. So I’ll give you one like random piece of advice, grab every bit of contact information that comes your way you don’t realize how valuable it is. So whether you have a physical product that you’re selling, or it’s a service, whether you’re teaching classes, like it doesn’t matter what you’re doing that contact information is gold, we do sales, you know, we talked about the sales funnel, where we reach many more people than the people that actually end up paying us. That’s why it’s a funnel, it’s fatter on top, all the people will reach and it’s very skimming bottom, the people that will actually become paying clients and customers that’s expensive. We, I teach also a sales pyramid. So it ends up looking kind of like an hourglass where you create a stable base of people who know and love you, and gone through the funnel, who pay and so whether someone’s already paid you or just come your way, keep those names, get a name, email, phone number, if you can, social profiles, if you can, every person whose path crosses yours in relation to your business. And by the way, friends and family count to and start building that liEstie Whether it’s an email list or socialist or following, you need a network of people to reach back out to anytime you want to resell or sell whether they’ve already bought from you or ever thought about it, or you just you met them on the street, and you’re like, Hey, I sometimes share business advice, want to get my emails, great, you know, just collect people that that’s my random advice. And but my official advice would be there are three key facets to every single business in order to be successful. One is the financials, you need to be working with a profit model.
And so if you’ve dabbled and you sold something, again, whether it’s services, whether it’s cookies, whether it’s books, whether it’s plants, like I don’t care what it is that you’ve sold, can you turn into a real business depends, when this starts to grow? can it make real money can make real money if I sell something three times a lemonade stand makes real money. But what separates the lemonade stands from like the lemonade companies? Are? Does it have a profit model? When it scales? Is there real money in here? And how does that work? What are the costs what are the incomes and is the income going to be higher than the cost as it grows. So that’s piece one start there, you have to figure out if there’s real money in this thing. And piece to which I think is the biggest piece is the marketing marketing is in my way, I teach it the creation and communication value of your product or service to convince your target audience device really long I teach it, I have a course coming up actually. And that people can start signing up for on my site called marketing for non marketers do it yourself Marketing for Small Business Owners and freelancers. So whether you’re in graphic design, or life coach, or an Etsy seller, or a you know, Renegade police officer who starting your own Task Force, it doesn’t matter marketing has to happen, you have have to be able to create value of what you’re trying to sell, you have to be able to communicate that to people, and then you have to convince them to buy because you cannot stop just by telling people how cool it is, you have to know how to close sales, you have to actually be able to sell the thing and that is all of marketing. It’s not just advertising advertising is such a small piece social media is just an extension of advertising its pricing is the actual product definition its defining your target it’s all of these pieces that’s piece to and having overwhelmed you yet there is peace three. And that is the systems and organisations. The other separator from Hobby to business is how orderly does this thing operate. And don’t tell me like, Oh, my gosh, so have you seen the back room of that restaurant did papers everywhere, I’m telling you, they don’t know what they’re doing. And so I’m going to tell you, they might actually be losing money, and they might not know it. So we’re doing I do business for money. I know a lot of people who do for hobby, that my thing, I have other hobbies. I like crafting, I make stuff. I like ceramics, I like crocheting. Those are my hobbies. My business is where I try to earn a living. And so you want to be orderly, in your finances. In your information tracking, if you’re selling anything physical in your inventory, if you’re running any kind of a service business, and you’re managing people, you want to be able to keep track of them, what they’re doing, how they’re doing at it. So these systems and organizations much bigger than a database, a system saves you stress time, energy, money, that’s the system. And so you want to be systematic at whatever level suits your personality. Because as I know, for my client base, ADHD, people are very heavily represented in the entrepreneurship space. I have an office full of toys for my clients to play with when they come in. And so and we’re not talking about being like pin meat, and talking about being able to keep track of all of the things that are going on in your business, whether you’re bringing in outside help for it, or you have a computerized system or something else. Those are the three components, make sure you can make money, figure out how to communicate that value in closing sales and get things sold. And that for every item sold. Because we figured out part one money’s being generated. And three, keep it orally. Or you could be doing one in two, right. And still bleeding money. You have my my mind like going like spinning with ideas based off what you’ve talked about. I love it. Excellent advice.
You guys listening or you people listening to really, really follow this advice? What’s your favorite business book favorite business? I’ve so many of the moment or of all time I have a Business Library in my office. I like lend them out. I’m looking at them right now. I forgot What’s my favorite. Um, how about at the moment, okay, of the moment it is, oh, there’s a battle for two on this also. But they’re both written by the same guy. So I got very into Daniel Pink, he is fantastic. And so I am almost done with two of his books. One, it had to go back to the library. And so I didn’t finish it before I could order it and get it in. So it’s called when by Daniel Pink. And it’s the science of perfect timing. And it’s not a actually a business book. But to me, it is because I work so much with entrepreneurs and solo printers and people who work in service. And even if you’re what I call a service product, business, you know, so like a restaurant, a nail salon, a bakery, okay, so your time and energy go in here. And also into every single product that you’re making. It’s not like manufacturing where like, you can manufacture another million in China. And like you don’t notice except in your bottom line. So service and service product, your time is so integral. And so the tools that he gives and the understanding of time I’ve been teaching so much of it for years, some of it was new even for me, and the scientific backup and the research behind it is just incredible understanding your Kronos type, you know chronobiology, the intersection of how people interact with time, you know, whether you’re a morning person or a night person, that’s your prototype, and how you implement that in your schedule, what your daily schedule should look like, based on the flow of your time interactions, how time works, with groups, just all these things. That’s one and the other one that I started on because the other one has to go back to life. He’s also his book, which is called to sell is human. And it’s again, I’m like, Oh my gosh, this guy and I have to talk because it’s everything I’ve ever been teaching about sales that you know, we have this perception of sales as that sleazy used car salesman. What I said is, you know, like Host Gator and Go Daddy, don’t kill me, people if you’re listening.
And it’s just not true. And for sure, it’s not true today, when being genuine is the name of the game and selling is not at all about sleep. But it’s about telling people you know the truth, I call it truthful marketing. And I have the whole whole thing that I’ve been building its marketing from your place of truth, but understanding the tools of what marketing looks like, of what sales looks like, you can’t just go out the same but you wouldn’t go on a date with, you know, looking disheveled and kind of smelly, and, you know, no makeup because like, hey, at some point in the relationship, I’m going to look like this. He should be prepared now, you know, and that goes for guys also, all right makeup or not, but you go on a first date looking put together, right? Because you come looking terrible. Like you’re the other party assumes that you know what was going to be next where we’re going here. And marketing is not there. You’re like, Oh, I’m just gonna say it like it is. Well, guess what? When you do that, your customer doesn’t think you said it like it is the customer thinks that there’s a whole lot more stuff wrong with it, because they see you as coming to a first date looking like hideous and so you have to play by a certain amount of rules in in how you present things because you have to understand human psychology, which is most of marketing. Most of the books on my shelf are psychology books, which to me are marketing books. But both of these to sell is human. When Daniel Pink my new favorite guy, what’s your favorite internet resource or app that just makes your life easier? Don’t laugh at me emoji pedia. Oh, why is it all the time because I find that today even though it’s such a random resource, okay. It’s not a fair resource. I’ll tell you. My other one that is probably the most useful is Canada. But emoji PD is the one that I find myself every single day. It’s a lot of times I’m typing things like I use what’s up on my computer. I use most of my social media on my computer, and to communicate on social media. Right now. The I do a lot of LinkedIn, I generate a lot of business on LinkedIn. And LinkedIn has started getting friendly with emojis. And I work a lot with trying to understand the algorithms, again, look through trial and error and following other people who play around with it. And I’ve seen a lot of emoji posts, getting good press. And so sticking emoji into my LinkedIn posts when emojis really live on my phone. And that’s annoying. And so emoji pts is online site where I can pull any emoji at anytime. And it also shows me what they’re going to look like in different platforms, which is really cool. So sometimes, like, you want to get a clock, but like you pick a clock. And like in WhatsApp, it looks normal. Or on your screen. It looks normal. But like in someone else’s app, it looks like a nose or like something ridiculous. So what I love about up is if you are going to be using emojis in any kind of official publications, and I would consider a blog or social media official because it goes out to the world in your name, then emoji PD is amazing. Where can listeners find you online? what’s your website? Where do you hang out on social media?
Sure. So you can go to Estie rand.com, yes, esti e r a n d. And you actually if you want to do a free introductory session to the marketing for non marketers, you can you also can download my 77 promo strategies, which, okay, so it was going to be 77. And at the moment we’re up to 139, by the time you get it. It might be 145. I don’t know, I had this idea that I just wanted to make the best in gathering of promotional strategies that existed and I couldn’t find anything online. And so I started putting together like, I think I could get to like in the 70s and sevens, my favorite number, let’s make 77 and then I started going and I kept going and I’m up to 139 different ways you can promote your business. And so you can grab that on my site also. And I hang out mostly on LinkedIn. I do have an Instagram we are going to wake it up a little bit more. I’m on Facebook once in a while. But if you really want to find me where I am every day, it’s LinkedIn. Okay, awesome. Estie Thank you so much. sharing your story with us today. Cindy, a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. This is great.
Cindy Rodriguez is the host of the Start Fierce Business Podcast. When she’s not interviewing awesome entrepreneurs, she’s working on growing her startup, going to Disney World with her daughter, or reading a book.